Using Open Tabs and Focused Browsing Follow

Open Tabs is a fantastic feature for sharing URLs to learners within your class. You can also choose to focus your students to the newly opened browser tabs for a set period of time using the Focused Browsing feature.

When a Focused Browsing session is active, learners can’t open new tabs, swap to other tabs or browse to new sites or URLs.

Open tabs

Focused Browsing


Open Tabs 

The Open Tabs feature allows you to open tabs on the browsers of selected learners, selected groups or the whole class, and display specified sites and/or URLs. It can open up to 5 sites and/or URLs at the same time.

To open new tabs on your learners’ screens:

  1. Click the Open Tabs  icon. This will load the Open Tabs panel.
  2. Select your recipients. You can select an individual or multiple learners, groups, or your entire class by clicking on the appropriate icons
  3. Enter the website URL(s) you want to open on your students’ screens. We recommend using the "https://" prefix where a login is required. If you forget it, Google will redirect your learners from say to and this will fail if https is not specified.
  4. Click the Open Tabs button. Within seconds, the tabs will open in your students' browsers.


Initiating a Focused Browsing session 

At the same time as you open tabs for your learners, you can also focus your students on the specified sites or URLs for a set period of time. When a Focused Browsing session is active, learners can’t open new tabs, swap to other tabs or browse to new sites or URLs. This helps them to work in a controlled environment (eg. timed exercise) or remove the potential distraction of site browsing.

The Focused Browsing feature options are accessed via the circular icon shown below:

To focus your learners’ browsing activity:

  1. Click on the Open Tabs icon . This will open the Open Tabs panel
  2. Select the learner(s), groups or your entire class for whom you want to launch Focused Browsing sessions
  3. Click on the focused browsing icon . This will open the Focused Browsing sub-menu
    Note: If the focused browsing icon is not visible, this feature is likely not enabled in the Hapara Admin Console. Please engage your Hapara admin to enable this feature.
  4. By default, Highlights pre-selects Focused Browsing for an entire site, however, you can choose to focus learners’ Focused Browsing activity on specific pages within a site. To do this, select ‘Limit browsing to only these pages’.
  5. Set the time period for your dedicated browsing session by clicking on the clock icon
  6. Enter the website URLs on which you want to focus learners browsing. You can include up to 5 URLs in a focused browsing session. As you start typing your desired URL, a list of the most recent URLs previously launched will offer you the ability to select your URL from the autocomplete drop down list.
  7. Optionally, check the “Restore tabs after release”. Focused browsing closes all other tabs currently opened on your student’s browser. If the “Restore tabs after release” option is checked, then after the focused time period has finished, each student’s closed tabs are restored automatically.
  8. Click on the Open Tabs button. A message notification will appear on your screen to remind you that your action will close all other tabs currently opened on your student’s browser:

If you want to cancel, click the Cancel Browser Lock button. Otherwise, the focused browsing activity will start within seconds for the selected student.


Focused Browsing through login pages

Focused Browsing works best with sites and URLs that can be browsed to directly. For private sites and URLs, the student must log-in before they can access the desired site or URL. Focused Browsing can handle this case (as detailed below). But some private sites redirect the student through multiple URLs before arriving at the desired site or URL and Focused Browsing doesn't handle these complex cases.
For example, a teacher wants to focus her students on a private resource provided by mcgraw-hill on their site Students need to log in to the mcgraw-hill site before they access the resource. The mcgraw-hill login page is on a different URL
The teacher can use Focused Browsing in this case by:
  1. Opening the Highlights Focused Browsing panel
  2. Specifying the two URLs and 
  3. Clicking on the focused browsing icon
  4. Selecting the "Limit browsing to anywhere in these site(s)" option.
  5. Clicking the "Open Tabs" button.
This will open two tabs in each student browser - one for each URL. Once the student logs in, they can click on an ebook to view it. 
Note: There is no way to force the student to select a specific book - but Highlights will show the book each student selected. If a student chooses a different book from the rest of the class, the Activity Viewer will show this in the "Unique Activity" panel.


Identifying existing Focused Browsing sessions

You can easily identify Focused students via the Focused Browsingicon. This will display primarily in the panel of all students engaged in Focused Browsing activities, as well as next to:

  • the Open Tabs icon on top of your menu panel
  • each student/group name in the recipient selection drop down
  • each Focused Browsing activity launched in the Open Tabs drop down panel

Basically, if a student already has a Focused Browsing session in progress, the Focused Browsing icon will display by their name on the Open Tabs drop down list.

You cannot start a new Focused Browsing session unless you stop the current session (or the current session expires). IE: Each student can only belong to ONE Focused Browsing session at a time.


Ending a Focused Browsing session

If you need to stop a Focused Browsing session before the expiry of the set period, you can do this by selecting the session required and clicking on the "Close Tabs" button or clicking on the Focused Browsing icon for that specific session:

  • Clicking on the "Close Tabs" button, closes the focused browsing tabs in the student browsers and allows them to start navigating to other sites and URLs
  • Clicking on the Focused Browsing icon, allows the students to start navigating to other sites and URLs (but does not close any tabs).


  • Clicking on the Focused browsing icon to the individual students, gives you the option to release the student individually. 


If you need to stop all previously set Focused Browsing sessions (eg. at the beginning or at the end of a class), you can do so by clicking on the ‘Release Tabs’


Focused Browsing with G-Suite: Gmail, Drive and Docs

If you'd like to focus learners on any of the Google tools Gmail, Drive and Docs tools:

  1. Open the Focused Browsing dialog
  2. Check the "Limit browsing to anywhere in these site(s)" option
  3. Enter the website 
  4. Enter the website
  5. Enter the website
  6. Click on the "Open Tabs" buttons to start the Focused Browsing session.

Note: We recommend specifying all three websites. This gives a better user experience for learners who are not logged in and are redirected by Google to a login page.

The "https://" prefix is required. If you forget it, Google will redirect your learners from say to and this will fail.


The learner experience of Focused Browsing

When a teacher initiates a Focused Browsing session, learners receive a pop up message asking them to save their existing work. If they are ready, learners can accelerate the countdown by clicking Start now:

Late arriving learners are automatically added to the existing focused browsing session when they log on.

That is, if a teacher starts a focused browsing session, and then a few minutes later a learner turns up, when the learner logs into their school account, they will be automatically added to the existing focused browsing session. 


If a learner attempts opening another browser page, they will be prevented from doing this until the end of the Focused Browsing session and will see the following message on the blocked page:


When the Focused Browsing session has expired, learners will receive a pop up notification:


Screenshot example of a full learner screen when Focused browsing has finished:


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